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Remaining fuel from tanker to be siphoned off

March 16, 2007

By Barbara Mae Dacanay, Bureau Chief
Gulfnews, Mar. 17, 2007

Manila: An Italian company has started to siphon off the remaining fuel from a tanker that sank and caused a severe oil spill off an island in the central Philippines last year.

“Sonsub, a marine engineering company, will siphon in 20 days the remaining bunker oil from Solar I, a tanker ship, that sank at 640 metres off the island of Guimaras last August,” said Petron, a local refinery which owns the cargo that was carried by the ill-fated tanker.

“We will be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to hasten the recovery of any trapped oil in Solar 1,” said Nicasio Alcantara, chairman of Petron.

“The operation will cost $6 million (Dh22 million),” said Alcantara, adding the process will be undertaken even if Petron believes the ill-fated cargo ship has no more bunker fuel stored in its tanks.

Apprehension

“The retrieval of oil from Solar 1 will finally end all speculation whether there is still oil on the vessel and more importantly, ease the apprehension of people from the Visayas,” said Alcantara.

Sonsub will use Allied Shield, a special oil recovery ship with global positioning satellites and thrusters, to check if there is still oil in the tankers of the ill-fated cargo ship, said Alcantara, adding, “This is only the second time in history that such a deep sea oil retrieval operation will be undertaken.”

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